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“The perfect brisket and ribs!”
Review of Smokestak

Smokestak
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Ranked #743 of 27,194 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Neighbourhood: Shoreditch
Restaurant details
Neighbourhood: Shoreditch
Reviewed March 17, 2017

Tried getting in here on a Friday couple weeks back without any success due to the popularity so booked a table this time round. Food was exceptional and staff were friendly and helpful. The Brisket Bun and Rib dishes were cooked to perfection and the Jacket Potato with Rarebit was very tasty. I will be going back very soon. 9/10.

Date of visit: March 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank VOP30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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380 - 384 of 514 reviews

Reviewed March 16, 2017 via mobile

The food here was mostly good but very overpriced. Ditto drinks.
Recommend the beef brisket and desserts very good.
Got told after 85 minutes that our slot was only for 90. Tried to order to dessert multiple times but no one would take the order without checking the status of our table by which time we were well over our slot. Messed up the bill too.
In summary, food good but expensive, service all over the place really.

Date of visit: March 2017
Thank Ian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 16, 2017

Last night I had dinner at Smokestak and the food and service was great! Why am I giving them 3/5 then you ask?

Because they put a £1 charity donation on my bill. It was not mentioned anywhere on their website or menu, so to randomly have it on my bill was super rude. It's like if your friend was like oh, I gave this charity some money, now you owe me. I volunteer and donate to charities of my own choice just fine so not sure why a restaurant would randomly volunteer to donate MY money. Obviously I asked the server to take it off, and it was just awkward.

It's sad because I really liked the place but this has left such a bad taste in my mouth I won't recommend it to anyone.

Date of visit: March 2017
1  Thank Diana W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded March 16, 2017

Diana, I fully appreciate that many of our customers support many wonderful charities from the goodness of their hearts. This is very much the same for us. Adding the £1 war child charity on the bill was never intended to make anyone feel uneasy or uncomfortable but simply a way of us supporting a cause we believe in. Looking at the positives (and thinking of others), we have been able to raise £2k/month to support those much less fortunate and that's something we are incredibly proud of. To take that away I feel would be a selfish business decision. The £1 charity isn't about us as a business, it's about those who have been dealt a wrong/unfair hard in life. And it's one of our ways of giving back. I hope you can see our take on this. It only comes from a good place.

In any case, thank you for your feedback. We have now listed it on the footer of the menu and it remains discretionary to all our customers.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 12, 2017 via mobile

Visited as part of a large group booking for a friends birthday.

Arrived early so ordered some drinks and sat outside.

After I had paid for 4 drinks I realised I had been charged for more than the cost on the menu. Enquiring I found out that a 12.5% service charge had been added to the cost. Firstly this is awful as I was not made aware of this and it was just added to the card machine. Secondly I paid £2.50 for my server to get 3 beers out of a fridge and pour a glass of wine! Ridiculous!

We sat down at our table at the correct time, but was waiting for the birthday boy to turn up. After waiting 30 minutes, thinking it was strange he was late for his own birthday, we found out he had been redirected to a bar downstairs (which had no signal) and had not been informed his table was ready. We waited for someone that was already here!

The "atmosphere" was lowlit hipster vibe, or to me dark and dingy. Also the toilets looked like the place you'd hide a dead body. The light above the table was at eye level and was blinding. We asked the waiter if they could turn it off but he said he couldnt, despite the table next to us not having theirs off (maybe it was broken?).

Moving onto food. This was the only positive thing about this place and saved it from getting 1 star. We had a £30 set menu which included entree, starter, main, side and dessert. The meat in these dishes was cooked to perfection - really delicous. Unfortunately portion sizes were on the small side. I ordered pork ribs as a main which consisted of a whole 2 ribs! I ended up filling up on jacket potato and cheese (my side). The ice cream was 1 scoop in a tiny glass.

Service was mediocre. They were fairly quick at getting food to you but seemed very unorganised.
Now i dont care what nationality my server is, but I do think they should speak the native language well enough. I asked one waiter for a teaspoon and he did not understand me. I asked a second and they said they did not have any. Really a restaurant with no teaspoons? highly unlikely.

Because of the portion sizes we did not think the dinner was worth £30. The bill came with a 12.5% discretionary service charge which because of drinks worked out at £5 per person. We thought the service was not worth this, so paid less than the total bill (tip was about half the asking). The waiter then argued with us that we had not paid the full amount and i had to angrily explain that the service charge was optional.

Overall only go here if you love meat and don't mind paying a fortune for it.

Date of visit: March 2017
Thank gizmo91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded March 14, 2017

Sorry to hear your feedback Gizmo. Never was our intention to let a 12.5% service charge ruin your evening with us and it seems we tainted your entire experience with the £2.50 service charge to start. At the bottom of all of our menus we do state there is there is discretionary 12.5% charge added to the bill, something very commonplace in London restaurants, not so much in pubs. It is of course discretionary and would have been removed by the bartender if you asked when ordering. It was our first day of the year opening the terrace for drinks and one of the issues which we will no doubt iron out.

There was a bit of confusion with the booking as various parties arrived at various times, please accept my apologies for this mix-up. We have addressed with our reception team to avoid this happening again. Please also accept our apologies for the lightbulb which was only a last-minute temporary fix and admittedly overly bright. Apologies this was to your discomfort. We have since sorted the issue.

The set menu you describe is £30 for 5 dishes so £6/dish on average. The ice cream is two scoops, not one as you describe. Yes, the pork ribs are two bones but "thick-cut" and weigh 200g from raw weight before cooking so that's 400g of meat. The jacket potato with cheese is lovely, thank you for commenting. I will in any case speak to the kitchen to make sure portions are a bit heartier, thank you for the feedback.

The waiter you enquired a tea spoon to is in fact a food runner, William. No, his English isn't perfect but he's trained to pass the message onto a waiter who I understand handled your request. And no, we do not have teaspoons nor coffee nor tea. Little demand has rendered this obsolete for us.

I have spoken to your waiter, Javi, and he was genuinely concerned he didn't deliver/provide a good service hence why he appeared to challenge you, but this was more for pride is his job than arguing over a couple quid, which is precisely what we are discussing here. And again, I am sorry this is what has led you to have a less than favourable experience with us. All the points you mention are duly noted and we have taken the opportunity to address with the team to better our service.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 12, 2017 via mobile

We visited in a Saturday night on the recommendation of a friend. Brilliant beef ribs and brisket sandwich. Very friendly staff, very welcoming and attentive. Excellent seats available next to the action in the open kitchen. Great smokey smells!

PS. Interesting urinal downstairs!

Date of visit: March 2017
Thank CJayHH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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